They had over 300 job seekers there for just the one session I attended. When I was leaving my allotted one hour session, it appeared that each of the 3 sessions was going to be similarly well attended. They had one hour sessions at 4pm, 5pm and 6pm (which means there could have been close to 1,000 people over 3 hours for what looks like maybe 40 jobs posted on their job board). The CIO gave a brief presentation, introduced the limited staff at various stations and then encouraged attendees to go talk to them. Everyone dutifully lined up and waited for as long as 30 minutes to introduce themselves and give their resume.
I'm not sure what will come of it, but it was an interesting (and yes, very uncomfortable) exercise.
Modern Day Great Depression Bread Lines
One of the iconic images from the Great Depression was that of the breadlines, with men in overcoats (or at least non-casual-looking clothes) queued up solemnly. Newspaper editors and photographers would publish these images as a reflection of how dire things were at the time.
Every month when the Department of Labor announces the unemployment rate, it makes front page news in papers nationwide. It continues to amaze me the spin folks try and put on data that just can't be denied. We are in a horrible job market and it's not getting better. All indications are that it's going to get worse before it gets better, so when politicians start to rally around a supposed recovery, I ask, "recovery...really?" I just don't see it. What I saw at this IT Open House was fear, a sense of panic and terror. Good god, look at all the other people out of work I'm competing with! I was really disappointed when I saw one of the staff actually hold out a guys resume to him and point out a typo...really bad form.
Actually, as I was standing there I had visions of those old pictures of the Great Depression when guys would line up for the day jobs and get left behind...seems like history repeats itself, just in a new form. The reality was, this company was nice enough to provide sandwiches and refreshments, so it truly is the new bread line.